My guest today is José Bográn. This has been a very foodish week, hasn’t it? Some weeks are like that. Talk to us, José!
Food for thought: Anatomy of a Baleada
My expertise in the kitchen is limited to an above average sandwich, an okay pasta, and maybe—just maybe—a fine grilled meat.
I like eating, I just don’t like cooking. Preparing food is my nemesis. Quite the statement for a 21st Century man, right?
Just before I start washing dishes, I program my MP3 player to begin with a song. The same song all the time: “I want to break free” by Queen. Not just because I’m a fan of the group, but because I pretty much see myself as the thick-mustached apron-wearing man dusting the carpet in the video. I even wash to the tune’s tempo.
Now that you know, you’ll understand the trouble I had penning a couple of scenes where food pretty much became a character there in. My new novel, Highland Creek, to be published by Rebel e-Publishers on early 2013, has three such scenes: the first one in a cafeteria in Central America where a killer sat across the table from his would-be victim; a traditional B.B.Q in Dallas—a city where I’ve never been; and a small private home dinner where the main character is offered a life-changing opportunity.
Writing about food was a difficult challenge to overcome. Having a wonderful wife who cooks like a chef is part of my reason for not saying my opinion in the kitchen. Still, she came through in a pinch. She wrote the menus for the last two scenes. She even cooked them for me, so I could witness the process, pay attention to the texture and flavors. Every bite a bit of research, some of them found their way into the final draft of the scenes.
For the scene with the killer I resourced to some traditional Honduras plates.
The Baleada is not only the most popular, but also the one that can be unquestionably ascertained as invented in Honduras. Actually, circa 2004, the Mayor of San Pedro Sula organized an event where they planned to cook the world’s biggest baleada. The Mayor even called in the people from the Guinness World Record to bear witness.
The fact is that the half folded wheat flour tortilla filled with mashed fried beans has become a sort of gourmet commodity. Nowadays, a couple of domestic food chains specialize in it, even when a there’s nothing unusual about finding a woman in a street corner near a construction site with a small charcoal “comal” selling baleadas. Such is the irony of the poor man everyday meal that’s found its place into the menu of nation.
And by the way, in my scene, my killer became so preoccupied with his job at hand that he barely tasted the delicacy and left the half eaten baleada on his plate. Shame, I know.
Author Bio and links:
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator.
About The Assassin’s Mistress
A random encounter leads to deception, love and murder. While vacationing at a ski resort, professional hitman Robert Prescott meets a strange and beautiful woman.
They discover passion and embark into a dangerous game hiding their relationship from her powerful husband. Then a further twist of fate makes Robert’s occupation collide with his new found love.
“He enjoyed his Gold Label scotch served neat … and his victims dead. “Take my hand if you want to live!” J. H. Bográn’s well-crafted crime thriller takes you where you’d never want to go. Highly recommended for a chilling few moments of your reading life.”
~ Bonnie Turner, author of Face the Winter Naked
“José Bográn’s short story THE ASSASSIN’S MISTRESS is an unusual, gripping and surprisingly fun ride on a killer roller coaster.”
~ Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of The Bro-Magnet
All these years, I’ve been eating Baleada and I didn’t even know it! Thanks, José, and best of luck with the story and novels.
p.s. I’ll be at Fandom Fest this weekend. I’m scheduling posts, in case I don’t have time to tend to the blog so, if you leave a comment for me and I don’t reply, know that I’ll get to it as soon as I can.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character learns that a dish he or she thought he or she invented is actually quite well-known in another culture. How does that affect him or her?